Issue 5 . January - March  2019 . Q2
CVLAP-DV and Elder attorneys at the April 2019 Annual Training at Lansing Community College's West Campus.  This was the first time that we held our CVLAP training jointly and look forward to many more in the future.  A huge thank you to all of our presenters and participants!
MEJI, MPLP, CVLAP-Elder and the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (MLTCOP) are all thrilled to be participating in the Attorney General's Elder Abuse Task Force. Assistant Attorney General Scott Teter is leading the Task Force and has ensured the MAP and MLTCOP family is well represented with staff serving in key positions. Goals of the Task Force include improving the adult guardianship system, training law enforcement to assist elders and vulnerable adults in need, and preventing financial exploitation. The sub-comittees are currently meeting to tackle the first items on their respective agendas. We will continue to report back with news.
Staff Updates
We are very excited to announce that CVLAP is expanding!  In addition to our current staff placements, will be adding six (6) additional attorneys who will be located in Battle Creek (Elder), Jackson (DV), Ypsilanti (Elder + DV + MIRC) and Kalamazoo (MIRC).  For more information about currently open positions, see MAP's application here.  Feel free to share!
New DV Staff
Marla LaMae, CVLAP-DV
We are honored to have Marla join the CVLAP-DV team in April of 2019.  She will be working out of Legal Aid of Western Michigan's Kalamazoo Office and comes to us after practicing as a Social Worker, where she worked with marginalized populations, and as a Clerk for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Project.
Outgoing DV Staff
Amy Myers, CVLAP-DV
We want to thank Amy for her fearless leadership and commitment to serving survivors and to supporting the VOCA attorneys.  Amy will be embarking on a journey to fulfill a life long goal of writing a book (about legal aid) and she will continue to teach Family Law at University of Michigan Law School. 
New DV Staff
Sharron Sanders, CVLAP-DV
We are honored to have Sharron join the CVLAP-DV team in April of 2019.  She will be working out of Lakeshore Legal Aid's Detroit Office and comes to us from private practice focused on both housing as well as prisoner's rights.
Outgoing DV Staff
Vee Boeringa, CVLAP-DV
We want to thank Vee for all of her amazing work with CVLAP out of LAWM's Muskegon Office.  Vee will be working for the Muskegon County Public Defenders Office. We wish her the best of luck on your next adventure!
Quarter In Review 
In the 2nd quarter of 2019 (January - March) CVLAP attorneys assisted 753 individuals who were victims of domestic violence and/or elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.  During this quarter we closed a total of 212 cases.  Of the closed cases, we provided full representation to 95 clients.  We are incredibly proud of our amazing staff attorneys across the state and want to share some of the good stories (see below) that exemplify the amazing and much needed advocacy that makes this project so vital.
Mireille Phillips, our CVLAP-Elder attorney at Lakeshore Legal in Macomb County, assisted an elderly Client seeking help after being financially exploited by a mobile home park.  Client had signed a Rent-to-Own contract for her mobile home but, after making all her payments, the mobile home park refused to turn over title to her trailer unless she paid additional undisclosed fees and a transfer tax. Mireille undertook representation of the Client and determined that the mobile home park had been collecting payments on the Rent-to-Own contract for almost two years after Client had already fully paid for her trailer.  After engaging in settlement negotiations, the mobile home park agreed to turn title of the trailer over to Client, pay her $675 and install a safe walkway and drainage tile on Client’s property.
Nickie Perera, our CVLAP-DV attorney at Legal Service of South Central Michigan in Lansing, assisted client who was seeking to address her child's behavioral issues but the child's father (who had joint legal custody) refused to agree to let their child see a psychiatrist and counselor.  Client filed a motion to address this issue and, at the same time, OP filed a motion requesting sole legal custody and alleging that Client should have a significant reduction her in parenting time.  Despite an unfavorable recommendation by the Friend of the Court, Nickie advocated for the client at two day Referee Hearing which resulted in a denial of OP's requests and an approval of client's desire to have her child be allowed to see a psychiatrist.  Following this hard fought win, Nickie partnered with the Client's DV/SA advocate to make a plan (with the Client) to prepare Client for for dealing with a persistently abusive OP that is likely to bring further litigation and to brainstorm ways to cope with OP and minimize her trauma when experiencing his triggering behaviors.
Training Updates
CORT Trainings
Throughout 2019
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, WV
CORT has an excellent line up this year and you can register for trainings here.  In addition to BLST, Litigation Planning and TAST, CORT is also offering a joint training with the ABA on Domestic Violence, Public Benefits / Health Law Training and Discovery.
MPLP Trainings
Throughout 2019
The MPLP Task Force meeting schedule for housing, consumer, elder, family and public benefits is here.  These are excellent opportunities to connect with fellow legal aid advocates, keep abreast of legal updates and consider options for systemic advocacy.
American Bar Association Trainings
Throughout 2019
We are proud to announce our first joint CVLAP training.  It is going to be an amazing line up of presenters from CPS/APS, private counsel, law enforcement, a judge and more! Please register HERE to attend. 
Elder Justice Updates
On March 25, 2019 Michigan's Attorney General Office and the Michigan Supreme Court announced the formation of an Elder Abuse Task Force aimed at accomplishing a range of issues related to the exploitation, abuse and neglect of older adults.  The proposals from the Task Force could have a profound affect on the lives of our clients if they are are able to make it through the legislative process.  Please keep an eye out for the Listening Tour as it makes its way across the state.

On May 18, 2019 NBC THINK ran a phenomenal piece by Alison Hirchel (MEJI, CVLAP & MLTCO) entitled "Brittany Spears Conservatorship Conspiracy: Theories Shine a Light on Complicated System."
Domestic Violence Update
Coming Next Quarter...
Domestic Violence Initiative
Rebecca Shiemke - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Stephanie Saad - Staff Attorney
Brooke Wilsner - Staff Attorney
Amanda Eicher - Staff Attorney
Nickie Perera - Staff Attorney
Brittany Tucker - Staff Attorney
Linda Kellum - Staff Attorney
Cat Villanueva - Staff Attorney
Sharron Sanders - Staff Attorney
Marla LaMae - Staff Attorney
Elder Justice Initiative
Alison  Hirschel - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Nicole Shannon - Systemic Advocacy
Erika Damstetter - Staff Attorney
Roger West - Staff Attorney
David Ballard - Staff Attorney
Mireille Phillips - Staff Attorney
Natalie Cherry - Staff Attorney
Brittany  Paulk - Staff Attorney
Laura Kubit - Staff Attorney
Kristina Martin - Staff Attorney
The Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project is funded by a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (“VOCA”) grant from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to the Michigan Advocacy Program.
Copyright © | Michigan Advocacy Program | All Rights Reserved
| Issue 1 | May 2018 |

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Michigan Advocacy Program / CVLAP Elder + DV · P.O. Box 8294 · Ann Arbor, MI 48107 · USA

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